Argentina vs Chile preview

June 6, 2016
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Chile vs ArgentinaThe final game of Round 1 at the 2016 Copa America Centenario will see the 2015 finalists Argentina and Chile square off at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

La Albiceleste will be looking to get revenge on La Roja for the defeat in said final and at the same time extend a promising run of results.

One of world’s most successful national teams have failed to impress over the last few decades and they are searching for the first major trophy since 1993.

Even with Lionel Messi and plenty of other star players in the side, La Albiceleste have failed to end the barren run, albeit coming real close at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America.

This is why Argentina players are determined to reverse the trend in the United States, and they have been made 2.75 (7/4) favourites for the title.

Gerardo Martino’s men head to the 2016 Copa America Centenario in good spirits having won last four games on all fronts, defeating Honduras in their only warm-up game.

The coach is sweating over the fitness of Lionel Messi, who has yet to resume full training after suffering a back injury, and he is unlikely to be risked against Chile.

Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan should replace him in the starting line-up, while Lucas Biglia is expected to miss all three group games through injury.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Romero – Mercado, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Rojo – Pastore, Mascherano, Banega – Gaitan, Higuain, Di Maria.

The Chile national team have been on a major uptrend of late and they ensured their place in the history books by lifting the 2015 Copa America trophy on home soil.

La Roja defeated star-studded Argentina on penalties and they will now be facing La Albiceleste in their opening fixture of the 2016 tournament.

Chile have struggled for form since the turn of the year, losing two of last three WC qualifiers as well as final warm-up games against Jamaica and Mexico.

However, they are expected to show improvement in competitive matches, especially now that key midfielder Charles Aranguiz is available for selection.

Playmaker Jorge Valdivia had been overlooked, while Matias Fernandez was forced to withdraw due to injury

The good news is that Arturo Vidal has recovered from an adductor injury, but Fabio Orellana is doubtful as he battles a fever.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Bravo – Isla, Medel, Jara, Mena – Vidal, Diaz, Aranguiz – Vargas, Pinilla, Sanchez.

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